This is what we teach every weekend.
The map below shows the basic trails that we give information for. The trail to Mount Humphreys Peak (4.8 miles, OW), is the one that goes from the left where there is a small loop that connects with the Arizona Trail. (that’s the one that goes north to south on the left side) The loop is the Aspen Nature Loop, about 2.5 miles of easy trail. It’s the one that we recommend for families or anyone that wants a leisurely hike. It takes about an hour and has beautiful views of the mountains all around going through meadows and glades. The Mt. H trail has many switchbacks and continues to the east up the mountain, then heads north from the “Saddle”,( that dark area on the map), up and over 3 false peaks and finally to the summit. The average hike is 6 to 8 hours RT. Below that is a moderate hike on the Kachina Trail. It goes south and east around the contour of the mountain, about 5 miles OW. It does go up and down, but it is a prettier trail and has great views to the south.
The picture on the right is the view from the parking lot next to the tent, overlooking part of the Aspen Loop Trail.
This young man was prepared with all the 10 essentials to climb to the summit and he started early, (long before we got there) and he was one of the few that made it to the top.
Below is one of the families that attempted the Mt. H trail. They went as far as they wanted and then turned back when they got to the snow, I think. The next picture is of Bill giving information to a small group headed to the summit. Not sure how far they got. Most people will turn back when they get to the snow and ice, many make it to the “Saddle”, about 3 hours from the trailhead and about 11,800’. We remind them that coming down is much harder. There are slippery roots, loose rocks and cinder, As the temperature rises, there is snowy slush, which freezes overnight. They will definitely get wet feet. It helps to have waterproof gaiters and either micro-spikes or crampons. Many people come down with scratches and blood from minor injuries.
This the PSAR (Preventive Search And Rescue) crew on duty one of the days. Each day there will be different volunteers. On the tables, we have information on PSAR and LNT (Leave No Trace). There are also stickers for the kids, giveaways and extra water. That’s me, Bill and Pamela. We set up the tent on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings, about 9:00 and take it all down about 3:00 in the afternoon.
So that’s what I do every weekend at 9,300’. It’s interesting and serves a good purpose. The Coconino Sheriff’s Department feels that it has certainly reduced calls for Search and Rescue since the program started.
I hope that you all stay safe and are vigilant in all that you do while you enjoy this wonderful country.
Thanks for visiting
Susan and Angel